The Brack (787m)

Sunday 1st April 2018

Distance: 10kms - Duration: 6hrs - Group Size: 6

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Earlier in the year we had to abandon our attempt to climb The Brack due to the amount and depth of snow on the approach route; today we were heading up the same route in much more favourable conditions of blue skies, good visibility with only the remnants of the deep snow, now consolidated and patchy to contend with. And, as an additional bonus, the ground underfoot was dry and solid, the surface still not quite softened from the hard frosts of recent days.

The Brack often attracts the comment of "Alpine" like with it's crags and steep ascents, giving a real mountain feel to the day; and with the clear visibility, it was a day to savour the conditions. We encountered a large patch of snow on the final approach to the lochan, just perfect for walking over, hard with a crispy surface which gave us grip without having to resort to crampons or ice aces. The lochan itself was still under a covering of ice and snow while the small grassy knoll was clear and dry, making an ideal spot to just relax, have a snack and soak up the warmth from the sun. Brilliant.

The climb from the lochan to the summit was a little testing as here the snow was still quite widespread; lining the steep gully but mostly clear on the steeper, grassy sides; and so, we engaged in a zigzagging route switching between short grassy scrambles and short traverses of the hard packed snow, eventually stepping onto a snow free summit, our annual pilgrimage to The Brack complete.

After a very leisurely lunch on the summit, we made our descent down the broad north west ridge where a little care was required, as this ridge was living up to it's reputation of holding a fair covering of snow, which, today, was just walkable without crampons, but a few ice axes were quickly unhooked just to ensure that little extra level of security.

The day ended with an easy crossing of the normally wet and boggy Bealach Dubh-lic and yet another pause atop the 384m knoll, before re-entering the forest and joining the main track for our return to Ardgartan.

Brilliant day everyone, thanks for your company.

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